A personal chees blog.


Let’s learn cheese!

Cheese Plate

Hey there.

When I happened on a book about cheese a few weeks ago, I was reminded how little I know about cheese. I mean, yes, I know the basics – the various kinds of milk, the types of cheese at the grocery store, the perfect trifecta of salt, fat, and umami that it adds to food – but not much else. I realized that, if buying something like Havarti is getting off the well-beaten path of Cheddar, Swiss, Mozzarella, Muenster, and Colby Jack, I could learn (and enjoy) more.

As anyone who knows me is aware, I have a passion for food. I’m always up for talking about food, eating food, or making food with all my friends and family. Two recent experiences have been nudging a full exploration into cheese.

The first one was a trip to the American epicenter of cheese: Wisconsin. My girlfriend and I passed up the World’s Largest Culver’s and the Mars Cheese Castle – apologies to our Wisconsin friends – but during a visit to Door County, we happened upon Wisconsin Cheese Masters. We thought it would be fun to taste the wine next door with some of their cheeses. The wines were delicious. So were the cheeses. But, if I could be honest, they weren’t really delicious together. That last part I’d blame on me, for I have no idea what cheese works with wine or what wine should go with cheese. Like the cheese novice that I am, I chose a cheese based on how the sample tasted, without thinking or knowing how it would pair with wine. It was onion flavored. I imagine some of you will just say, “Well, there’s your problem!” Admittedly, it wasn’t the best choice. Cheryl chose a better tasting and more wine-friendly cheese, so not all was lost.

The second experience was a request for pretzels. Pre-pandemic, my neighbor and I would often cook together, and I’d previously brought homemade pretzels to a function her father was hosting. Could the same pretzels make an appearance at this year’s Oktoberfest party?, she was asked. Nothing makes me happier than cooking for friends, so we got to work. With pretzels and beer, a dipping cheese is a requirement, and we’ve been experimenting with a modified version of the Modernist recipe for making cheese sauce for years. It’s beautifully simple: just cheese, sodium citrate, and liquid. My neighbor, who has made the cheese sauce plenty of times too, had arranged for the host of the Oktoberfest party to provide some of the beer they make – yes, they make their own beer and, yes, it is delicious – and she bought various hunks of various cheeses. One of them was aged in a cave, and tasting it alone, it had a very powerful moldy funk. While that may not be a technical term, in my opinion, it was not, on its own, friendly to the masses. It had a ton of flavor and personality, but again, a bit of moldy funk. Tasting the various beers, and various cheeses, it was fun to mix and match them in order to showcase the host’s beer flavors and still have the cheese featured prominently. The cave cheese one was the trickiest, but it also came out the best, at least in my opinion. Trying to mute the “cave” but keep it in there, while bringing up the fruit and hops of the beer, was a lot of fun. How much moldy rind to toss in there? What ratios of beer-to-cream would achieve the right mix of fat, salt, and notes from both the cheeses and beers? Delicious! I did not make the Oktoberfest party *shakes fist at COVID* but I hear the pretzels and cheese were a hit.

Seeing the book reminded me of those events and awoke a desire to learn more about cheese. I’d planned to do just that: read, research, buy, and consume cheese. Basically, I bought the book with the intent to expand upon my materials. This never-ending pandemic (yeah, I’m looking at you, COVID) has kept me from doing much social cooking with friends, and the sharing of food is limited. I want a place to record what I learn and share it with people. Voilà: this blog was born. Hopefully, you all want to follow along, so I get to share with friends and family, and I can record all the nonsense I learn here. Win-Win. If you’re reading this, welcome and thanks for joining me. I hope we can share food and learn.

I’m not sure what all I will do here, but the plan right now is to pick a cheese, learn about it, and make something with it. Maybe I’ll post recipes. Maybe I’ll have posts on equipment, such as knives, boards, and cutters. Maybe wine pairings. Who knows? Suggestions are welcome.

Let’s learn cheese together. Salut.


  1. Emily N says:

    How fun! I will recommend trying Clearwater Select Brie from Brazos Valley Cheese. It is only available for a short time each year. It is divine blue cheese wrapped in grape leaves soaked in wine.

    I would like to be added to an email list so I can keep up on new articles 🙂

    1. The Brie you recommend is already out of stock, unless you know of a place to get it from, or have a friend that happened to see if fall out the back of a truck.

      Thanks for stopping by and checking out the posting.

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